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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 22nd, 2006, 01:24 PM   #1
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New and looking for advice...

Hi. I'm just starting out doing wedding/event and promotional videos. My background is in videojournalism, so this is a bit different for me. I'm in the process of choosing equipment. I've got a mac and final cut studio. I'm leaning toward buying the pd170, but I'm just wondering what the demand is for 16:9? I doubt it's an issue for weddings, but how about for corporate videos? I'm planning on doing some promo/marketing type videos. I've done one for an international school that they're using for recruiting. I used a borrowed fx1 for this so 16:9 wasn't an issue.
I'm planning on buying azden's UHF wireless lav, sony's HVL-20 DW2 light, a tripod and extra batteries. Is there anything else I should consider and are these good choices? Also, should I get one of those attachable shoulder mounts? or a monopod? I'm used to using a camera with a shoulder mount for news. So shooting without one will take some getting used to.
One last question...can anyone suggest good, easy to use, software for making nice dvd case inserts and labels?
Thanks and any tips or advice will help!
Courtney Peers
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 03:47 PM   #2
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Courtney,
In all honesty I haven't had any isues for either corp or wedding work using 4:3 aspect-in fact many of the corp clients I worked for don't want 16:9 so for me at least it's not an issue. Nor is HD-I've yet to be asked by anyone to do a job in HD. As for the other gear you are looking to get-I use the Azden 500Us (2 sets) and contrary to some beliefs the 500Us work amazing well-maybe the shotgun mic by them are good but the 500U systems work just fine. The light you mention (although I don't use it) seems to be kind of a standard for weddings (you might consider a softbox for it). As for a shoulder brace I used to use one for the 150 and frankly I gave it up as it makes an already front heavy camera even more unbalanced so I went with a monopod for it instead. Between my tripods and monopod I was covered.
As for software for DVD cases, personally I use Photoshop, which even though I am certainly no expert with, I am able to produce very nice custom covers.
Hope that helps
Don
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 04:17 PM   #3
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Courtney, you're headed in the right direction, and your choice of camera, mics and video light will see you right in a lot of wedding situations, not least of all because the 170 is so good in low (romantic) lighting.

The only downer as I see it is in the 16:9 situation, where the VX and PD were never designed to be. Of course the FX1 and Z1 cater for that at a price, but still the 170 wins in low light.

The 20-DW2 is a goodie as it runs on the same NP-F batteries. Best to get a Lumiquest diffuser for it though, and have both filaments running - that way it covers a wide-angle converter as well as softening the shadows considerably.

Hand held I use a big L bracket under my Sony, so spreading the base wide and making smooth tracking so much easier.

If you buy the Epson printer that handles CDs and DVDs, it comes with 'Print CD' software that's easy to use and infinitely changeable.

tom.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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Courtney,

Photoshop for creating the graphics for disk labels and case covers but then again I've been using Photoshop professionally for 10 years now. That's an expensive program for just labels, plus it has a bit of a learning curve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtney Peers
One last question...can anyone suggest good, easy to use, software for making nice dvd case inserts and labels?
Check out Discus (magicmouse.com) It comes in both a Mac & PC version, and you can download a free working copy if you'd like to check it out. It takes about 2 minutes to master and it'll make you look like a pro.

I use an Epson R200 for printing directly on disks looks more professional than sticky labels. Plus, sticky labels on a DVD can sometimes come loose due to the heat buildup inside the player.

Last edited by Tom Tomkowiak; January 22nd, 2006 at 07:14 PM.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 07:50 PM   #5
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Hi! Thanks for the responses...very helpful. I've been considering the Epson R200 for printing on discs. I've also checked out the discus and it looks really easy to use, which is good. I think photoshop is a bit too expensive for what I need though.
So is B&H the best place to order lights and mics? People in this forum seem to suggest it often. Does anyone happen to know of a good Canadian supplier?
Thanks for your help.
Courtney
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 08:13 PM   #6
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I'll also recomend the R200. I have 2 of them and they work out quite well. If photoshop is too much then use the Print CD program for disc faces (it comes with the Epson) and believe it or not try MS Word for covers. Play around with it and yes, you can make some pretty good looking covers with it. Remember you're importing pics to it and the control for doing things to the picture is extremely limited but for putting the cover together and printing it works OK

B&H is the best place I've ever found to order from-they have much of my money-but I always get what I oreder and the return policy is great. Sorry, I don't know of anyplace in CND to order from.

Don
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 08:46 PM   #7
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As a fellow Canadian I have also looked for some suppliers. However you will find that even after the exchange and shipping B&H will most often still be cheaper than most Canadian stores. However there is provision in Vancouver that handles higher end equipment, and Advance Electronics in Winnipeg is the biggest distributor in Manitoba. Check out E-bay as well for azden lavs and batteries, you can sometimes find good solid stuff. I purchased a set of Sennhieser wireless mics for about $600.00 less than a Canadian supplier.
Good luck
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 09:41 PM   #8
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Photoshop Elements 4.0 does all the basics you need for a lot less than phull photoshop cs2.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 10:18 PM   #9
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Disc Printer

Courtney:

As I sit here writing this, my Epson r220 is spitting out 20 DVDs I am printing for a customer. Uses discs with labels already on them, and works great.

Would like a bit more automated system if I end up putting out a lot of them, but for small projects, prints, works great.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 12:01 PM   #10
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Just to play devils advocate to you 4x3 shooters, I shoot everything in 16x9 and then crop to 2.21 or 2.35:1.


:)
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